Newswise — For many students, going to college or university also means moving away from home and starting a new life in a new city. Take the opportunity to also start a new eco-friendly chapter and go back green with these tips:

• Tap in! Use a reusable mug and water bottle. (You’ll notice that many campuses are going bottled water free). Using a reusable mug saves resources and sends a message to the world that you are a conscientious student who recognizes that tap water is healthier, cheaper, and tastes great. Check for bottles that are BPA and PCB free. Did you know: tap water is often subject to more stringent water testing standards than bottled water?

• If you happen to forget your disposable mug – be sure to find a place that you can recycle your cup. Many urban centres have special recycling programs for styrofoam and coffee cups.

• Choose soap products (such as shampoos, conditioners, dish soaps, and laundry detergents) that are phosphate free. Phosphates are not only bad for you but also hard on our environment. Too much phosphate in our lakes and rivers contributes to algae blooms that are choking up our beaches.

• Go unplugged! Unplug your computer charger, phone charger and other electronic devices when not in use. When you leave them plugged in they still use energy – even if they aren’t doing anything.

• See if your city has green initiatives you can take advantage of. For instance, Toronto has a LiveGreen card which offers deals at local restaurants and shops that have local, sustainable and/or organic products.

• Hit up your local markets. No doubt it has incredible cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables and even some local wines. Often times you can even get these items cheaper than you would at your grocery store.

• Do your part by drinking great local beer and wines. Craft breweries and small wineries are popping up all over the place. By choosing local products you are reducing the “food miles” associated with your food.

• Volunteer! Make a community impact. Your new community is likely home to many great philanthropic efforts. Find the one that’s right for you and make your community more liveable.

Greengauge is developing smartphone apps that help make sustainability easier and fun to do! Greengauge will give you a score based on your knowledge and actions relating to sustainability. Leave your email address at to get more information, and a free download of the app!

Greengauge is one of 24 companies currently incubating at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone. For more digitally-themed back to school expert tips, visit the Back to School page at

Digital Media Zone expert available for interviews:Lindsey GoodchildCEO of GreengaugeContact Heather Kearney (details below) to speak with Lindsey